Weaving the Multigenre Web
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A multigenre paper is a collection of different types of writing. Collaborating in small groups, students read novels either as a whole class, in literature circles, with a partner, or individually. They complete reading journals and, if working in literature circles, literature circle discussion roles for each day of discussion. Groups then self evaluate each day's discussion. Using journals, discussion notes and interactive analysis activities, students divide their story into sections. Utilizing the multigenre approach, they analyze the literary elements in their novel. Finally, utilizing Web technology, students link their genres together in a hypertext presentation or multigenre Web.
Literary Elements Map: This online tool can be used by students to create a character map, conflict map, resolution map, or setting map, for stories they are reading or writing.
From Theory to Practice
This lesson combines reading and writing in a collaborative, small-group learning experience endorsed by Harvey Daniels. It utilizes the multigenre paper method of Tom Romano to analyze a novel. Finally, technology is integrated into the lesson by arranging the multigenre report as a hypertext Website. Jeff Wilhelm and Paul Friedemann explain, "Designing hypermedia projects encourages students to name themselves as readers, writers, and learners, and supports them in the achievement of better reading, idea development, sense of audience, classifying, organizing, collaborating, representing understandings, revising, and articulating and applying critical standards about the quality of their work" (15). From cooperative learning to self-reflection, this lesson reinforces the literacies that students need for success in and out of school.
Common Core Standards
This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.
This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.
NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts
- 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
- 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
- 6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
- 8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
- 11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
- 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
Materials and Technology
- 5 or more copies of several novels for students to choose from
- Web-authoring software such as FrontPage, Dreamweaver, Netscape Composer, Microsoft Word, etc. or blog sites like LiveJournal, MySpace, Blogger, and Facebook.
- Internet access for each group
- Access to a Website on which to upload Web pages or a CD burner and blank CDs
- Obtain access to computers and other software.
- Arrange for an LCD projector and computer to project PowerPoint presentations to the class. Alternately, you can show the PowerPoints to small groups of students, huddled around a single computer.
- Make copies of handouts and rubric. You will need one copy of each for each student except for the Group Discussion Rubric, of which you'll need one copy for each group for each day of discussion.
- Familiarize yourself with the basic commands of the word processor on the computer that you're using. Also, explore the basics of creating a Website or Web presentation.
- Test the Literary Elements Map and the interactive Genre Selection Chart on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.
- Explore the sample student multigenre Webs and choose ones which you'd like to show your students. You might make bookmarks on the computer browsers for the Websites available for students.
- Review the Catcher in the Rye model chart, which is included for the teacher's reference. It can also be shared with students as an example if they are familiar with the novel.
- identify and analyze literary elements in a novel.
- divide novels into sections according to plot structure (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution).
- decide which genres work best for each section, divide genres among group members, and individually complete genres.
- work collaboratively with group members to compose a Website.
Reading and Discussion Sessions
- Begin by going over the elements of fiction with students, using the Elements of Fiction Information.
- If working in literature circles, have students form groups of five. (This lesson plan can also be done with a whole class novel, partner books, or individual novels. The directions that follow can be adapted if you prefer not to use literature circles.)
- Share the assembled books which are available for the project, and ask groups to choose a novel to read and discuss.
- Pass out the Literature Circles handout, Reading Journal Instructions handout, and Rubric for Group Discussion.
- Have groups discuss the novels using the elements of fiction, reading journals, and assigned literature circle roles.
- Have students use group discussion rubrics to record notes over their day’s discussion and to practice possible genres for their Webs.
- Have groups evaluate their class participation in groups each day.
- Have groups analyze their novel by completing the Literary Elements Map tool. Remind students to print out their completed maps.
Web Building Sessions
- Distribute and explain the Multigenre Web assignment.
- Show the information on the Multigenre Web.
- Invite students to explore several of the sample student multigenre Webs.
- Hand out the Possible Genres handout. Discuss and expand the list according to students' observations and suggestions.
- Hand out Genre Selection Charts, or demonstrate the interactive chart, showing students how to add items to the chart as well as how to print and save their work:
- On the first screen, type your name and the title of the book your group has chosen.
- Click Next to move to the chart screen and enter your information.
- Enter the details on the sections of the novel, the events covered in the sections, and the literary elements and matching genres that you've chosen.
- Demonstrate that writing is not limited to the size of the box shown on screen. Answers will scroll.
- When you’ve finished writing your responses, click Finish at the top of the screen.
- In the next window, click Print. Your answers will be displayed in a Web browser window.
- To print answers, choose the Print command from the File menu. To save your answers, choose the Save As... command from the File menu. Students can open the file later in a Web editor or a word processor that imports HTML (such as Microsoft Word or AppleWorks). Because saved files are HTML, students can link their planning sheets to their Webs as appropriate, if desired.
- Show students that the instructions for using the tool are available by clicking Instructions at the top of the screen.
- On the first screen, type your name and the title of the book your group has chosen.
- Hand out the Baby Steps handout and provide any instructions students need to use your Web-authoring software.
- Have students complete the first four steps on the Baby Steps handout as a group.
- Groups should write an “index” page as a link to the sections of their Web.
- Have students write their individual genres.
- Have students work in their groups to select links and construct the multigenre Webs on their group Websites.
Student Assessment / Reflections
- Individual students can assess themselves using the individual reflective journal assessment.
- Groups can assess their project using the Rubric for Group Discussion as well as the Student Designed Multi-genre Web Page Rubric.
- Teachers, too, may choose to evaluate students using the rubric.
- Additionally, teachers can check Reading Journal sheets and observe and note student participation and accomplishment in group discussion.